Mobile Commerce as a Solution to the Global Digital Divide: Selected Cases of E-Development
THE DIGITAL CHALLENGE: INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY IN THE DEVELOPMENT CONTEXT, S. Krishna and S. Madon, eds., Ashgate Publications, Forthcoming
30 Pages Posted: 13 Nov 2005
Capabilities of accessing, delivering, and exchanging information in digital forms vary greatly across rich and poor nations. On top of other global socio-economic disparities, we now have a growing global "digital divide." With lower fixed and operating costs, geographic flexibility, and the ability to operate without electric connections, mobile networks offer a solution to the global digital divide. We employ the term "mobile e-Development models" or MED models for economic development strategies based on mobile telecommunications and mobile commerce. Success of such MED models depends on a variety of contextual factors shaped by specific aspects of technology, economy, politics, regulation, and culture. In this chapter, we explore the mechanisms by which these contextual factors could influence the reach of mobile networks and the degree and types of mobile phone use. Two cases are presented to illustrate how environmental forces are shaping the development of mobile markets in Asian countries.
Keywords: Mobile Commerce, Digital Divide, e-Development
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